Harmonic Recovery "Boxes"

Clement Perry has new review of another "black Box" harmonic recovery device. Are these the panacea some claim or just another device that filters or colors sound, what are members thoughts on these devices? Sam
Hi,Sam.Just my opinion;I think most audiophiles think of these,the same way they think of Bose.In the begining they got their reputation.I have never touched one so all this is just opinionated banter.I think I am not alone on this,lets see if anyone with more input, than I have to offer, responds. As an afterthought,with outboard power supplys for this and that;separate dacs,jitter boxes in between,on and on,ya just run outta shelf space.
Have tried them and they seem to help in most transistor applications but damage tube sound. Current is everything in audio. These seem simply to increase current to better drive the next amplification stage of the audio chain. Sadly, current seems to have been ignored by most manufacturers. Better to search out components that have a higher current output.
I have tried the Harmonic Recovery Systems box in both tube and transistor setups. When I read the overwhelmingly positive review in Stereophile of this black box a few years back, I was intrigued, but the author couldn't explain the "how or why" of the box. Neither can I but he and I agree that it is not just a minor amplification process. There is what I would call an enriched or deeper soundstage with slightly more detail when the HRS is installed that cannot be attributed to just an increase in volume. It depends on where you place the box as to its effect on the music. Best palcement is between preamp and amp. In my transistor setup you can definitely hear a difference, but only you can determine if that difference is for you. In my tube setup, you can hear the difference too. But as I am moving to XLR's and the HRS only has RCA's, I have moved it to different parts of the chain will less pleasing results, but results that are noticed nonetheless. And it is another box that has to be placed somewhere, albeit a smallish one. Is it worth the trouble or cost? To me the answer is yes especially in light of what we pay for better preamps, amps, cables, etc. in our search for the "right" sound. I would buy used and try it if you are interested. But I am guessing that the effect gained decreases as the quality and cost (as well as system balance or synergy) of your system increases, so that a $10K system will gain more effect than a $40K front end. I've got both and this is a real world observation.
I agree with what Otis said above. I have a single-end HRS which I installed between my BAT VK-5i and Aleph 3. I thought it made my tube preamp sound solid state. The highs had perhaps a bit more detail, but there was an edge to them that I didn't like. I read the reviews that reported an increase in soundstage depth, but I didn't experience that in my system. It does increase the gain by about 10 dB. I haven't tried it with a solid-state preamp yet, and maybe the BAT just wasn't a good matchup for the HRS. A friend of mine has the same unit and tried removing his preamp from the loop and just using the HRS between his CD player and amp. He also tried it with his B&K pre/pro in the loop. He reported good results both ways. I also agree with Gmkane. I think the better the system, the less an HRS is going to help, if at all. If you have a modest system, I can see how an HRS might be right for you. $200 or so for a used one is certainly a lot cheaper than a quality preamp. Also, the HRS would probably work well with a passive preamp, as the increase in gain alone would be welcome.
I have the Audio Harmony which replaced the HRS. There is an upgrade to the HRS that not too many people know about.
I have owned an HRS for about 18 months. The most significant improvement in my system (Wadia 850 CD player, Linn Klout power amp, Magnaplanar 3.6R speakers) is that images are more precise and have more of a correct "size". With the HRS, female vocalists are more "right there in the room", and the voice comes from a correctly sized mouth. Without the HRS, the vocalist is more "smeared" (more diffuse) and the sound of the voice seems to come from too large a part of the soundstage. I believe the HRS helps my cd player drive my amplifier better, just as the advertising says. Would the HRS significantly help a state of the art preamp drive a state of the art amplifier better and result in more musical sound? I don't know, but I know I like what the HRS does in my humble system, and it is always in the system. I really like the sound of music my system reproduces using the HRS, and I am glad I bought it. I purchased a premium power cord with the HRS. Recommended. Best of Luck.